28/09/2020 Vocal Point

Hi all

This week we have seen that you don’t need to go to the opposite ends of the earth to get a first class presentation on a Tuesday night. We were thoroughly entertained by our own member Michael McIlvaney, with want ranks as one of the best talks we have had at Bromsgrove in my time as a member. The feedback has been so enthusiastic. As Michael said himself, street photography can be a marmite genre, but you will always appreciate excellent images and presentation regardless of the topic. I will also say that – to date – figures produced from our members who have expressed a preference for a particular genre – Street photography lies second behind Landscape – maybe not so marmite after all. If you were unable to pick up the live presentation last week you can get it on Youtube at your leisure. Richard has already sent out the link earlier this week.

Yesterday we had our first Practical Outing of the year. Two groups of six socially distancing members attended an afternoon at Ele Rea’s boarding kennels for a chance to photograph Agility dogs in action. Ele and her friend Tania had around 8 dogs in total working on the agility equipment. It was an excellent opportunity to take images of animals in action – the dogs seemed to be having as much fun as we were. Many thanks to Ele, Tania and all the dogs of course. Also thanks to Cressie for the excellent tea, coffee and cakes; and to Richard of course for organising the outing.

This week we are “visited” by Julie and Alan Walker presenting “Nature Photography – Japan and Beyond”. Julie and Alan are two very experienced photographers and this should be another excellent night in our programme.

Finally – as I am sure you all know – the deadline for handing in your images for our first PDI competition is by midnight this Tuesday. Good luck to everyone who takes part.

See you all on Tuesday.

Best wishes


21/09/2020 Vocal Point

Hi all

It’s good to see that most of you have renewed your membership for this year. Afterall, where else can you get such excellent entertainment on a Tuesday evening nowadays. There are still a few familiar faces who have yet to submit their membership forms. Remember please everyone that you need to be a paid up member to enter the monthly competitions and the first one is on 6 October. Photoentry has been open since last week and your entries must be in by midnight Tuesday 29 September. It will be interesting to see how everyone has dealt with lockdown and social distancing whilst keeping their photographic skills going.

This week we have an early session at 7-00 presented by Rebekah Nash – The Roger Lewis Foundation Course. This will be followed at 8-00 pm with the main event. This week we are privileged to have Michael McIlvaney – our very own member – presenting “Storytelling In Public Spaces: Applying Your Photography Skills To The Street”. Michael is a very skilled photographer and his work has been recognised in international competitions. This should be a very good night, so make sure that you don’t miss it.

On Saturday past, I attended the Zoom AGM for the MCPF. One particular point of note is that Midphot will be held as per past years – however, in common with most exhibitions and competitions, it will be PDI only. In the current circumstances it will not be possible to hold the usual print section. Regrettable, but understandable of course.

I’m looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow.

Best wishes


13/09/2020 Vocal Point

Hi all

We really should be taking advantage of this Indian summer and getting out and about with our cameras. It has been a miserable summer for many – for obvious reasons but there’s still plenty of time to make up for that. We can take advantage of everything that this country has to offer and now it’s a perfect time to do it. Also, don’t forget that the Autumn colours are on their way – one of our set subject competitions this year will be on “Autumn”. 

Our new season has certainly got off to a strong start. We had over 40 members attending last week’s meeting presented by Claire Carter. Claire gave us a wonderful presentation with lots of useful advice on how to make the best use of the focal length range of our lenses. Her images were stunning and her advice was invaluable. 

This week the main event is an international affair. We are bringing Ian Preece all the way live from New Zealand to your screens at 8-00 pm on Tuesday. The advantage that Zoom gives us is that we can access speakers from anywhere in the world. Ian specialises in Land and Seascapes and his talk is titled Photographing in Aotearoa: Images and Observations.  This should be a special night and I look forward to seeing you all then.

We are also running an Early Session this week at 7-00 pm. I will be doing a Question and Answer session on how to enter club competitions. We have a strong competition section but there are a number of members who don’t participate Some members who do participate may be unclear on the best way to take part. If it’s just not your thing then that’s no problem – our society has much to offer in addition to our competitions. However, if you would like to take part but for some reason never have, then perhaps we can help you understand how easy and enjoyable it is.

To finish with, another international theme. Last year we bought an Olympus camera in Australia. It recently developed a fault. Despite our initial concerns on whether we could get warranty cover through Olympus UK, we had no problems at all. The camera was returned fully functional 8 days after we posted it. The unusual thing is that DHL tracking showed that it travelled through their depots in Lisbon in Portugal, followed by Vittoria in Spain, followed by East Midlands airport. Considering we posted it to a Midlands address, it went on quite a journey in an 8 day period. Well done Olympus.

If you haven’t filled in your membership forms for this year please do ASAP

See you all Tuesday


06/09/2020 Vocal Point

Hi all

I really enjoyed getting the new season off to a fresh start. It has been a frustrating summer for many including BPS – many plans for the new year had to be changed to keep up with the changing circumstances.

It was also difficult to predict how many of our members would be adversely affected by recents events – there are more important things in life than photography – however, our meeting last week showed that many of you still need your weekly dose of entertainment at BPS to help take your mind of everything else that is happening in our lives at the minute.

Many of you have already returned your membership forms for the new season, helping to keep us  to continue as one of the most successful societies in the MCPF region. If you haven’t returned yours already, then please get it back to us soon.

This week we have two events to keep you entertained – our Zoom meeting will start at 7-00 PM with the resumption of the Roger Lewis Foundation course for Photography – run by Rebekah Nash. This was very popular last year, but had to be put on ice when lockdown kicked in. For those of you who haven’t attended before, this is aimed mainly at the novice photographers who wish to learn more about the basics of photography, and how to get the best from your camera. It is open to all abilities though – how many of us have stood with our camera trying to remember the best dial to twiddle for a particular image. Please join in, and it will probably help to have your camera to hand when you take part.

Our main event at 8-00 PM will see the return of Claire Carter with a presentation entitled Landscape Photography and Focal lengths. From 14mm – 640mm. Many of you will remember Claire from her visit to Avoncroft nearly 2 years ago. We had some excellent images, back stories and advice and this talk should be just as entertaining.

Please note that we have two events during our Tuesday Zoom meeting. The early session ends at 7-45 so if you only intend to join for the main meeting then please be aware that there will be a presentation taking place before 7-45

I look forward to seeing you all this week. Let’s make this year one to remember for all the right reasons.

Best wishes


28/08/2020 Vocal Point

Hi all

A little early this time.

Many thanks to Richard for our editing night on Zoom this week. It was fascinating to see so many different approaches to editing the same image – it certainly was an evening to think about what we do with the image after we have pressed the shutter.

I hope that you are all as excited as I am about our new season which starts on Tuesday 1 September. We will kick off with our Members’ Welcome Night – it will be a chance to hear more about our programme for the new year, learn about the roles of your committee and how they work to make our society so successful, have a PDI presentation of a range of our work from last year and learn more about our Specialist Groups and mentoring.

Remember to get those membership forms in for the new season. You should all have received an email with the form attached. If not, you can download this from our webpage – along with our new programme. We realise that there will be a few members who are not able or don’t wish to participate in our Zoom meetings – perhaps for the reason of internet security. You should all be aware that – wherever possible – all our Zoom meetings are recorded and will be available for a short time on Youtube. We will send out more information on these as the season progresses. There may be the occasional meeting that we cannot record as we obviously need permission from the presenter to allow us to do this.

Finally, it is always worth emphasizing that new members are the life blood of BPS and each year has seen a new income of photographic talent. Please let your friends, colleagues and contacts know what we are all about. And remember, for the month of September, all visitors attend free – all they have to do is contact me or Richard with a request to join a meeting. Social media is a great tool for this so a quick share on Facebook will spread the word.

Thanks for your attention and I will see you all on Tuesday.

Best wishes


24/08/2020 Vocal Point

Hi all

Just one week until the start of our new season – but that also means we have one more night of our summer season organised by Richard. The “Where in the World” quiz last week was very entertaining and a lot of laughs. Once again we had an excellent attendance. Remember, tomorrow is our editing night, so I hope that you have been busy editing some of the images that Richard sent out.

Talking about next week, we start with our Members Welcome Night to kick off the new year. We shall look at the programme for the new year, the Committee will introduce themselves and explain their roles within BPS, we will have a short display of a variety of work from last year and to finish we will spend some time discussing our Specialist Interest Groups So there will be a lot to pack in and we hope to see you all then.

Now is the time to start completing your Membership form for next year. I will be sending a special copy to each current member. There is also a downloadable version on our website homepage – along with our downloadable programme until the end of 2020. There is a new section on the membership form. You have an option to indicate which genres of photography interest you most. This information allows us to tailor our programme to your needs in the future.

We are also excited to announce that visitors can attend our Zoom meetings in the month of September absolutely free. This will give them a flavour of our society before they commit to join by October. Please let your friends and colleagues know about this. The easiest way to do this would be to share our Facebook page with your contacts. We aim to keep membership numbers as high as we can, allowing us to continue with a top class programme in future years.

Well that’s all for today. I hope to see you all at the editing night tomorrow.

Best wishes


16/08/2020 Vocal Point

Hi all

Not long to the start of our new season now. The committee is “meeting” tomorrow evening to finalise our plans for the coming season. 

We are keen to see you all in attendance from 1 September onwards. It is also a time when we seek to greet new members and visitors to Bromsgrove Photographic Society. This would have included running our High Street stall in Bromsgrove to promote our society, but current circumstances meant that this couldn’t take place. This has always been a great opportunity to generate new interest in our society. As a result we are asking each and everyone of you to generate interest in BPS using social media. Our new programme up to the end of this calendar year has been added to our Facebook page. It will only take a few seconds of your time to share this page of events with your contacts and friends. We have also updated our website – once again please share this with your friends and contacts. Our Programme Secretary Jan has put together an excellent programme which can be run on Zoom whilst we are awaiting the opportunity to return to Avoncroft Arts Centre.

Last week we ran our ever popular knockout competition on Zoom. We had 64 entries of a very high standard – which was reflected in the number of very close votes – our Vice Chairman even had to use his casting vote at one stage.

This week Richard is running a Travel Quiz based on images that have been submitted – there is still time to get an image in for what should prove to be an entertaining evening.

We hope to see you all then

Best wishes


Knockout Results 2020

For anyone that was unable to attend but still wants to know how their images did, here’s a quick recap of the results:

In third place, we had “Dead Tree”, by Nick Veale

In Second place, we had “The Surfer” by Pat Billyard

and in First place, we had “Antarctic Seas are Freezing”, By Jenny Webster


Congratulations to the winners, and to all that took part!

Richard Chapman

10/08/2020 Vocal Point

Hi all

Now that we are having a proper Summer – alongside the easing of some of the lockdown restrictions – I hope that those of you that can, are getting out and about with your cameras. Summer photography can be challenging – if you want that delicious early morning light, the catch is that you have to get up early. Add to that the challenge of contrasty light and you find that you have to think long and hard before pressing the shutter button. On Saturday morning we took a trip to Chasewater – I’m ashamed to say that I had never really explored the area before. What a lovely area though – plenty of variety for all types of photography. Possibly best of all was breakfast for two in the Station Cafe – £7-20 in total – I’ll certainly be back there again.

Many thanks to Richard for organising our critique rooms in Zoom last Tuesday. It was a chance to try out something new and once we got beyond the short learning curve we found that we had a very useful way of allowing small group discussions (and screen sharing) within a Zoom meeting.

This Tuesday should be a fun night with a knockout competition. This has proven to be very popular at Avoncroft for the past two years. Now we get a chance to do it online and there will be plenty of opportunity for comment from the “floor”. Please get those images in to Richard quickly – it’s a fun competition, so it doesn’t have to be MCPF medal-winning standard. The forecast for tomorrow includes thunderstorms – so an entertaining evening in with your photographic buddies should be perfect.

See you all then

Best wishes


03/08/2020 Vocal Point

Hi all. Speaking for myself, I certainly enjoyed the talk from Chris Palmer this week. It was refreshing to see a lot of quality images that were taken mainly for the joy of photography, rather than just a selection of “competition winners”. His presentation was relaxed and informative and I would welcome him back again in the future.

We now enter August which in past years has usually been a quiet month for the society in the run up to our new season. Richard is working hard to put together an entertaining programme for August, starting with a variation on a critique night this week. I’m looking forward to seeing you all then.

Looking ahead to our new season – which is only just over 4 weeks away – we are finding that we are having to adapt to the circumstances that we find ourselves in. I have been corresponding with about a dozen of our neighbouring clubs, to see how they propose to handle the season ahead. None are planning to have physical meetings from the start of September, indeed, most believe that these meetings are unlikely before January. We will do our utmost to get back to normal, but only when your committee deem that it is safe to do so.

Therefore, until further notice, our meetings will continue to be online via Zoom. Jan has put together an excellent programme to keep you entertained. Some of the highlights before Christmas include Claire Carter (you will remember her excellent talk from two years ago), the return of Damien Demolder, our very own Michael McIlvaney plus a live presentation from New Zealand – don’t say that we don’t scour the world for top talent for your entertainment.

The programme will be available in a downloadable version on https://www.bromsgroveps.com/ as well as on the Facebook page.  These will be available later this week. I will inform you when they are life. Please feel free to share our events on Facebook with your many Facebook friends. As ever the society is always open for new members – there is little live entertainment around for people at the minute, so joining in with our Zoom meetings on a Tuesday is an excellent way to spend an evening – still remarkable value at £1 per week.

We will also be making our membership form available on the webpage in the next few days – this will make it easy for you to rejoin or encourage new members to join. I will let you know when this is life.

That’s all for today, but please continue to look out for any updates from your committee in the coming weeks.

Best wishes